Orbitz says American Express told them I disputed a flight charge so now they won't refund. I never disputed it, and Amex won't clear it up.

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Mar 12, 2021
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I have been trying to get a refund on a plane ticket booked on Aer Lingus (from Philadelphia to Munich) through Orbitz (flight was scheduled for 9/6/20, and US citizens were not allowed in to Europe, so no way could I have flown) and paid on my American Express card. Original flight booked in July, 2019 was for April 13, 2020, and when that flight was cancelled due to COVID I changed the tickets to September 6th, 2020. It's been a nightmare. Each company is blaming the others (Aer Lingus says it's Orbitz's problem, vice-versa) and they both say American Express needs to send them a letter/email telling them I had never disputed the charge, which they say is the reason I'm not getting a refund. Amex tells me that they know there was NO dispute filed, but their policy is not to send emails or letters to that effect.

So here we are, I'm out $830.76 right now. Aer Lingus is terrible to deal with. I tried the BBB in Ilinois (Orbitz home base) and Orbitz told them the same thing (without a letter from Amex I cannot get a refund). Nobody will budge including Amex, which is the card I've used for 25 years. SO many hours on the phone with all parties trying to resolve this.

I need Amex to clear this up, and get Aer Lingus/Orbitz to issue a refund. Orbitz/Aer Lingus did refund the cost of one ticket (my husband and I were flying together), but again they say there was a "dispute" about the other charge, which there was not, so they currently refuse to refund the other ticket.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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I have been trying to get a refund on a plane ticket booked on Aer Lingus (from Philadelphia to Munich) through Orbitz (flight was scheduled for 9/6/20, and US citizens were not allowed in to Europe, so no way could I have flown) and paid on my American Express card. Original flight booked in July, 2019 was for April 13, 2020, and when that flight was cancelled due to COVID I changed the tickets to September 6th, 2020. It's been a nightmare. Each company is blaming the others (Aer Lingus says it's Orbitz's problem, vice-versa) and they both say American Express needs to send them a letter/email telling them I had never disputed the charge, which they say is the reason I'm not getting a refund. Amex tells me that they know there was NO dispute filed, but their policy is not to send emails or letters to that effect.

So here we are, I'm out $830.76 right now. Aer Lingus is terrible to deal with. I tried the BBB in Ilinois (Orbitz home base) and Orbitz told them the same thing (without a letter from Amex I cannot get a refund). Nobody will budge including Amex, which is the card I've used for 25 years. SO many hours on the phone with all parties trying to resolve this.

I need Amex to clear this up, and get Aer Lingus/Orbitz to issue a refund. Orbitz/Aer Lingus did refund the cost of one ticket (my husband and I were flying together), but again they say there was a "dispute" about the other charge, which there was not, so they currently refuse to refund the other ticket.
Why is this an Amex problem? If there was no chargeback (and you said there was not) then it is either Orbitz or Aer Lingus. Which company made the original charge? Was it Orbitz on your statement or Aer Lingus? I'd say whichever of them (Orbitz or Aer Lingus) it was is the one that needs to fix it. Instead of Amex saying they "didn't do" something, the company with the charge should have to prove that they did. Furthermore, if you got the date of the alleged "chargeback" it should be easy to confirm it was not done on your statements.
 
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Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
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Amex tells me that they know there was NO dispute filed, but their policy is not to send emails or letters to that effect.
Others have been able to get this letter from AMEX , so not sure why you can not . Maybe because you DID NOT file a charge back ( this is ridiculous ). Next who ever the charge was listed on your bill would surely know if you filed a charge back ( more game playing).
Lastly you really should not be dealing with Aer Lingus as you are not their customer. Orbitz is their customer and not you. You need to get Orbitz to help you.
Did the flight leave on the day of your ticket? If it did fly and you could not board the plane as you were not allowed where you were going then you would not be due any refund at all. You are only due a future travel credit. So asking for a refund will just complicate things and make things harder for you. If the flight did go as planned and you were prevented from using your ticket you might get a much better result trying to get a voucher.
Now if you did file a charge back with your credit card and the credit card found against you , then they are correct in not giving you a refund or a voucher until you call your credit card and tell them you are dropping the charge back ( losing the charge back does not dismiss the charge back). Then get a letter showing you dropped it to show Orbitz.
Again you really need to be dealing with Orbitz.
It is too bad the charge was so long ago as doing a charge back might be the solution if it was still possible ( you could try but I think it is well out of the period to try one).
Good luck.
 
Mar 12, 2021
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I understand that the burden of proof should be on Orbitz, but so far they refuse to agree. Again, I've called, written and filed a BBB complaint, and Orbitz always reiterates that "all Amex needs to do is issue a letter or email and Orbitz will issue the refund."
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Forget the BBB, you won't get anywhere with the BBB.

What form of communication are you using with Orbitz? Are you calling and speaking to a CSR or is there any written communication? How has Orbitz acknowledged that you are entitled to a refund?
 
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Mar 12, 2021
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I have done both (written and CSR on phone). Orbitz put in writing that they were just waiting for Amex's letter to issue a refund. Back to Orbitz I guess. Thank you very much!
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
1,008
2,090
I agree a BBB complaint will get you nowhere, if anything it could make getting a good result even harder.
I understand about AMEX since Covid their call centers have more more overseas and things take longer.
Did you file a charge back that you had lost? As I do not understand why they are asking for the dismiss letter if you did not start a charge back. I can assure you this is not normal. So if you did file a charge back then call AMEX and get a supervisor and maybe they will understand when you tell then you want to dismiss your charge back and get a release letter to give to Orbitz.
Big question is did at any time did you do a charge back with either the airlines or Orbitz? If not it changes things .
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
I understand that the burden of proof should be on Orbitz, but so far they refuse to agree. Again, I've called, written and filed a BBB complaint, and Orbitz always reiterates that "all Amex needs to do is issue a letter or email and Orbitz will issue the refund."
And that’s correct. This is between you, Amex and Orbitz abd has nothing to do with AerLingus. This is the problem using a third party to book- the airline won’t deal with you.

What you need to do is use our company contacts for Amex and start to escalate to get the letter you need.

Here are the contacts-


This is how to escalate. Read the entire post and make sure you write to one executive at a time leaving a week in between emails.


This should not be difficult to get a letter if you just get the right people to handle it.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,163
13,516
San Francisco
The reality of the situation is that AerLingus doesn't have any revenue, so they're probably processing as few refunds as they can get away with. Has Orbitz told you that they've received the refund? Since your husband received one, I take it that AerLingus cancelled the fight? I don't see that AmEx will issue a letter confirming a negative ... stating that something didn't happen. I find it difficult to believe that Orbitz doesn't know that. Had you booked directly, AerLingus and AmEx might communicate with each other, but the online booking services are mostly just that ... they take your booking and offer little or no customer service. Who charged your card, Orbitz or AerLingus?

I read your narrative twice, and it's not clear who cancelled the flights. If you cancelled, you're due a credit, not a refund. I don't think anyone is playing games, I think Orbitz may have been careless ... someone disputed a charge and somehow it got attached to your record. Neil has laid out the only way to handle this ... it will take a good long time, you need to find an executive who will get this researched and cleared up. I tend to think that Orbitz can solve your problem, but perhaps AmEx is capable of straightening this out. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
 
Mar 12, 2021
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Thank you thank you thank you Elliott Advocacy!!! I emailed Amex using the addresses you have posted, and someone got back to me within a couple of days. The Amex office was hugely helpful, contacted Orbitz, and I got a full refund almost right away. Reaching the right person was key, and I doubt I'd have ever found the email without you all. You provide such a great service to consumers!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,163
13,516
San Francisco
Thank you thank you thank you Elliott Advocacy!!! I emailed Amex using the addresses you have posted, and someone got back to me within a couple of days. The Amex office was hugely helpful, contacted Orbitz, and I got a full refund almost right away. Reaching the right person was key, and I doubt I'd have ever found the email without you all. You provide such a great service to consumers!
Super pleased for you Elise! Thanks so much for letting us know ... these kinds of successes are what keeps us plugging along. Well done. One tiny drop of cold water ... a CC will often issue a temporary credit while they investigate. Sounds like your refund is permanent, but just a warning to stay on top of the situation for the next 120 days.
 
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